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The good ol' Diamond Star Motors plant in Normal, Illinois – where such well-regarded vehicles as the original Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser were built, among others – is apparently getting a new lease on life now that Mitsubishi, the United Auto Workers and laborers at the plant have all approved of a new contract.

At this point, it's unclear what Mitsubishi plans to build in its only North American plant, and the present output of Eclipse, Endeavor and Galant are likely not long for this world. Would it be too much to ask for an Eclipse that hearkens back to the good old days of turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive? Probably, but we'll settle for a new nameplate or two that escapes the automaker's current mire of drab, dated and slow-selling sedans and coupes.

In any case, we're told to expect a detailed product plan from Mitsubishi that will lay out the steps it will take to become relevant in the United States once again. And, incidentally, the Japanese automaker apparently has no intentions whatsoever of leaving the U.S. market... which means whatever it's cooking up at the moment had better be rather impressive.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nothing Americans will buy, judging by North American Mitsu sales.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd like to see Mitsu succeed here. But indeed, they lack idnetity and relevant products. The market for - and awareness of - the Evo is quite narrow. Competition is fierce and Mitsu must act swiftly and boldly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "....where such well-regarded vehicles as the original Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser were built"

      Aside from the Eclipse GS-T, GS-X or turbo variants of the Laser and Talon, the rest of those vehicles were junk. The interiors were terrible, the base motors and drivetrain were terrible, they handled pretty poorly, they weren't class leading. Aside from the bulletproof drivetrain on the turbo models, everything else pretty much fell apart...

      I think people forget these things, and only remember the best and brightest but forget the rest of the junk.

      I, for one, would like to see Mitsubishi succeed but I honestly don't think it is going to happen. I don't think it is going to be an easy road at all, especially considering their terrible lineup now. The only vehicle they sell now that is worth purchasing is the Evo, and MAYBE the Outlander. Two models, one of which is good and the other is mediocre isn't going to win you any contests. The i-Miev isn't going to set the charts on fire either....
        • 4 Years Ago
        The fanboys are out in force!

        I speak the truth and have personal experience with a '92 GSX. The entire car was falling apart but the drivetrain was bulletproof and running 394AWHP. This was back in 2003 when the car was only 11 years old. The base cars had ~100HP and were dog slow, and handled terrible.

        Also, do you all really think the current Galant, Endevor, and Eclipse are competitive vehicles?

        Either someone came through here with a proxy or there are a lot of clueless sheep on Autoblog.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear Mitsubishi:


      Yes, please.

      Waiting patiently,
      Loyal 97 Tsi AWD owner.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What about the PajeroMontero? That is a great off-roader.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ive owned every vehicle in the mitsu lineup Evo,Endeavor,Outlander,Galant VR4, Eclipse, The only one i havent is the raider. Im on my 10th mitsubishi. Never had a single problem with any of them, and love the styling and performance.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please Mitsubishi NO MORE of this project america crap!! Seriously!!

      As i've said before. The Raider, Endeavor, and Eclipse were the worst mistakes to ever come from the factory and sold on US soil.

      Mitsubishi has great hot selling and popular vehicles that sell overseas but they refuse to sell, or build them here for whatever dumb reason. In fact I can name a few. They need to bring over the Pajero(Montero) Sport, the Pajero(Montero), and the L200/Triton compact pickup. Lastly they need to come up with a new 2+2 sports coupe to compete with the supposed Toyota's & Subaru FT86 based coupes, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and Ford Mustang to truly re-inject new life back into the model Eclipse, and completely redesign the Galant to be a good competitor with the Focus, Optima, and Sonata while being sporty and fun, not boring like the last gen D5 based Ford Taurus.

      Mitsubishi has the potential to have decent products and be another company to worry about as a competitor but have yet to reignite the fire and soul they once had back in the late 90's and early millennium.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Tanooki,
        The Raider was not built in Normal. It was A Chrysler product built for Mitsubishi. And it was junk, too.

        Otherwise, I agree with you and Tourian.

        My belief is that the plant is being upgraded for production of the L200 Triton Pickup. Mitsu's US boss mentioned here earlier this year that he is interested in selling the Triton in the States, and was looking for a way to do it. My prediction is that Mitsu will ship the truck from Thailand in CKD form, then will assemble it at Normal, with enough upgrades done to make it suitable for US consumption. An unassembled truck means no import tariffs. I also feel that assembly will begin within at least 2 years, when the next generation is due. This also means US factory workers will have to be trainied to build the trucks so this will probably mean trial runs at Normal and on-the-line training sessions in Thailand.

        I also feel that if Mitsubishi can do this, then Ford should have no problem with building the Ranger here using the same method. They did it with the India-sourced Ikon in Mexico a few years ago.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it is obvious that Project America is doomed and the plant will be used for something totally different. My guess is the Colt and the Triton are top contenders.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oops that Ford model should be Fusion, not Focus. I also forgot to mention that they should possibly consider bring their Colt back to the USA so that they have a sub-compact to complete the lineup.

        I personally like Mitsubishi because they are one of the few die-hard cars I have ever owned. I've own 4 in the past and they have always been solid and reliable. My only existing Mitsubishi that I still own is my 3000GT VR4 which is quickly approaching 300,000 miles and still running.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, everyone hates the EVO! What an awful, boring, drab sedan!
        • 4 Years Ago
        And yours is the dumbest comment on the web since the 80's :-)

        Regarding Normal, I think they want to build the Lancer-based Global Small (2012 US Colt?) in that plant. I'm pretty sure they'll come up with a plan soon, and I have faith Mitsu can pull out of their current situation... all we need is for dumb people like this commenter above, to stop posting baseless, uninformed crap all over the web ^_^
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi's Concept PX MiEV could make a good crossover for US customers, but what Mitsu really needs to succeed here is more subcompacts.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What is normal in Normal, Illinois - the main culprit behind the big three's troubles are the unions. Nothing good for the plants they have representation...Besides, Mitsubishi is one of worse japanese manufacturers in North America in terms quality, reliability, customer satisfaction and residual value. The Hyundai type incentives they've begun with never made theirs cars industry standard like Hyndais today. No wonder UAW are in!
      Anyway, I am wondering Is Normal, Ill. plant the same one thet made rebadged Renault as Eagle in the past?
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ever they build there will be added to by boycott list.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If it is built using Mafia labor, yes, I will boycott what ever is built there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Somebody say 2008 Raliart Eclipse?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Even if that includes a new Eclipse based of the Lancer/Evo? Eclipse GXR = 2dr Evo FTW!
      • 4 Years Ago
      They have been so stagnant I cant imagine them building anything relevant anymore. (except for the Evo).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've been saying it for years now. Mitsubishi needs to take the engine and all-wheel drive system in the Evo and transplant it into other vehicles. Namely; Gallant VR-4, Eclipse GSX.

        Also, bring back the Diamante to go up against cars like the Nissan Maxima and Ford Taurus. Reintroduce the Starion to tackle the upcoming Toyota FT-86 and its Subaru counterpart. Lastly, bring back the halo, 3000GT.
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